I hope everyone is chipper and in good spirits!
This week went by fairly well. On Monday we were knocking doors and we were followed by some little girls (7-9 years old) and they call me Cheese Machine... (Elder Prince told them that was my name and of course they remember it). They also tried to steal our bikes, so that was an adventure! Then on Tuesday we taught Ludger, Kimberly and Jean about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they were very receptive. It was a great lesson! When we taught Oscar on Tuesday and it turned out to be a miracle MPL (Member Present Lesson). He had invited a bunch of his Haitian friends that live in the same complex as him to listen to our message and he introduced us to Raymond who just moved from Haiti and was baptized a little under a year ago. We were able to meet with Raymond again during the week and establish a pretty good relationship with him. He will be a good addition to the Belle Glade Branch. On Thursday we had a shadow exchange with the AP's (where the AP's follow us around) which was good because Elder Christensen (an AP) started his mission in Belle Glade so he got to see a lot of his old friends here. We found a lady he baptized and we didn't even know about her, so hopefully we can help bring her back to church. On Friday we did Service for the Light House Cafe, they served fried chicken and that place went nuts. The people of Belle Glade love their Fried Chicken! Then later in the evening we were knocking an apartment complex and a storm rolled through, it started pouring rain and there was lightning and thunder right above us! Luckily a nice Haitian dude named Manuel from Jakmel let us chill in his house for half an hour or so until it subsided a little. Then that night we taught Ludger, Kimberly and Jean the Word of Wisdom. There was some confusion about what kind of tea they could drink, if they could drink coffee if it had milk in it and if they could drink beer if it was only 4% alcohol, but we got that all cleared up. As we were riding back Elder Oldroyd noticed that I had a lizard on my helmet so that was exciting! On Sunday Ludger, Kimberly and Jean couldn't come to church because they had to work, so that was a big bummer... It's sugar cane harvest time in the fields right now. They burn the fields to burn off the plant and just leave the sugar cane stalks, then they harvest them and haul them off to the sugar factories.
Okay, my last thought is from, 2 Nephi 2:27-29,"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh... And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life... And now, my sons, I would that ye should... choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit; And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh (or Natural Man) and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate..."
Men have been given their agency and have the ability to choose Eternal Life. Exaltation is not a whimsical thing that just happens, it is a choice. Who we are is the summation of our past choices. We can choose to attain Eternal Life by following the promptings of the Holy Spirit or choose Eternal Death by submitting to the will of the flesh which is evil and gives the devil power to captivate us. We all have the opportunity to gain "All that the Father Hath" if we choose to properly exercise our agency.
I pray that we will all search for the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we may "put off the natural man and come off Conqueror."
I hope you are all having a wonderful April and that you are doing well.
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission
Haitian-ing the Work
The Cheese Machine! With the kids who tried to steal their bikes.
The sunset of Belle Glade after a good day of sugarcane field fires
(with some Palm trees for Mom!)
"A train that I yielded for."
The tree from Tarzan
"The rainstorm we got caught in"
The chickens and trash of Belle Glade
Hmm, they're going to have to build more prisons ;)